Text for "Loaded for Bear (Under the Sea and In the Air)

by Hank Caruso


    "The end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War saw the development of a new type of aircraft: One that was purposely designed, from the beginning, to execute sea search and control missions efficiently and effectively. With the rise of the Soviet Union came the threat of a potent submarine force and a long-range air arm wielded by a very capable adversary. The WW II air fleet of adaptations and modifications was no longer up to the task. Grumman's carrier-based aircraft and Lockheed's land-based aircraft were the stars of these new warriors.

The principal players in this Cold War vigil are shown here: a) Grumman's AF-2 Guardian team of aircraft (1949-1954), the AF-2W "Guppy" hunter and AF-2S "Scrapper" killer at lower right; b) Lockheed's long-lived (1945-1978) P2V Neptune series, represented by the P2V-7 (P-2H) at right center); c) Lockheed's Constellation-derived PO-2W (WV-2) Warning Star (1954-1976) at top; d) Grumman's S2F-1 (S-2A) TrackerĘ or "Stoof" (bottom left), the first carrier-based aircraft to incorporate both hunter and killer capabilities (1952-1977); and e) Grumman's S-2 air surveillance derivative, the WF-2 (E-1B) Tracer, better known as "Willy Fudd" or "Stoof with a Roof" (1957-1973). With the exception of the Guardian, these aircraft also served into the Vietnam War or in the military services of foreign nations."

--Hank Caruso
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